Gaelen Britton (She/Her)
21st Century Performance
Live performance can now be streamed from anywhere in the world to our sitting rooms on a whim to be mindlessly consumed. The quantity and accessibility of cultural performance leads to a dilution of its significance. The context and subtext is often missed by the viewer/consumer. Conversely, the capability to stream live performance occasionally stimulates gathering and event – a positive outcome.
The Epic Theatre of Bertolt Brecht sought to stimulate an audience’s critical consciousness. By exposing the mechanics of a play, or ‘breaking the fourth wall’, the audience is encouraged to engage rather than simply absorb. This architecture interprets the endeavours of Brecht by locating the performance in its physical context, blurring the lines between audience and performer, and providing an architectural backdrop with presence and contrast.
Urban Housing: The Barras
Gainful labour is no longer confined to a location by mechanical or communicative requirements. It is also no longer expected that domestic or gainful labours are the domain of any one particular gender. The average individual maintains a career and a home simultaneously. The individual is now required to compartmentalise or blend their domestic and professional lives according to their needs or preferences.
Productive labour is generally a collaborative effort. Domestic life is more intimate. This urban housing proposal aims to allow the individual to modulate their environment to suit their activity or mood. This is achieved by establishing an enfilade of spaces arranged in a spectrum from individual to collective, private to civic.
The urban fabric of the Barras is disintegrating. It creates a disconnect between the city to the west, and the residential community of Calton to the east.
This proposal is mooted at a time when a creative community is kindling within the Barras. This is positive, yet alienating to long term residents and stallholders of the district. It is not clear how they will benefit from the new establishments and prosperity.
The proposal aims to compliment the new community while providing amenity for the established residents. It will reinstate a distinctive edge to the urban block and the district, expressing a sense of solidity and permanence. Denser and more varied programming will generate activity throughout the day and week. The district will extend the gradient from private to civic established in the housing local and civic spaces.
This dwelling does not differentiate between those whose labour is financially or domestically productive. In fact, this dwelling acknowledges that modern people commonly maintain a career and a home simultaneously. This dwelling provides spaces for the collaborative self to work and socialise with others, and the private self to retreat and relax. This dwelling allows the worlds of home to coexist and occasionally bleed in to one another, but provides a clear delineation between the two for when it is necessary.